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DiGi's final thought


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#1
DiGi Valentine

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So NiGHTS is now out and some of you seem concerned, posting complaints. Naturally, everyone is entitled to their own opinion so feel however you want to feel about the port. What i will offer is a different perspective in hopes that maybe you can consider to see it from a different side of the fence.

Journey of Dreams while loved by some fans was generally blasted by critics and the general public. It didn't hold the NiGHTS name well and it hurt to see that after a decade of waiting the sequel that should have reinstated NiGHTS' name fell on a sour note, throwing the character down a dark path with the public and an even darker path with the company that owns him.
My goal was to bring NiGHTS back. All these campaigns i help start was for the basis of bringing a title back to those who have not played it and in the process bringing NiGHTS back up to being a respectful game in the industry.
It is with articles, such as this and this do we see this communities hard work pay off in returning NiGHTS to some former glory.

But your concerns lie in the playability. I've seen some extremely harsh comments in here, saying it's unplayable. Again, perspective a little.
NiGHTS on Saturn had a controller BUILT specially just for the game. That kind of dedication to a single title no longer exists anymore, certainly not from a SEGA budget in this day age. You're looking at a company who is trying to bring a title back to multiple platforms in shorter development times than what the original game got.
Unplayable? That's a tad extreme. I've tested this title to hell and back, i've seen builds of this game that WAS unplayable and what we have right now on sale is playable and enjoyable and that's why the reviews are coming in favorable and positive.

The masters and players of the Saturn version may notice the difference and a difference there is, but it does not ruin the game. In fact, technically, it should be a whole new learning curve for you guys. A new challenge, even. Some say the angle and timing of NiGHTS is a little off. Guess what? I said the same thing. Within my power i tried to do all i could, but there's only so much and so little time to do anything. I wish everyone could step in to this industry for five minutes just to understand it a little better, you'll realize just what's possible to do and what isn't. With NiGHTS though i feel we are lucky because it still plays really well IF you're willing to give it a chance.

So i ask you, instead of feeling disheartened (like i initially did), re-learn to play it. Join us on the scoreboards and leaderboards, you will find fun in this if you give it the time it deserves.

If not and you still refuse to play this port then ..well ...honestly, i have to admit, i feel kinda sorry for you. You're missing out on something quite nice, a moment in time where NiGHTS is in the spotlight in a positive way. But i'll respect your choices so do what you will.
Just don't forget why we did all these campaigns to begin with. From where i'm standing, we succeeded in everything we set out to do and should be damn proud and furthermore enjoy our reward.

#2
charlie

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I know I'm one of the guys that's speaking poorly of it, and I wish I wasn't because I absolutely love the original on the Sega Saturn and it's my favourite game of all time!

There are a lot of benefits to having this released, like getting more people to play the game and increasing the fan base, so for that I am grateful and thankful.

I will also be supporting it on all of the consoles (PS3, 360, PC) by purchasing a copy and playing each of them.

To me the most important thing in any game is to have solid controls, and that's why I'm disappointed with the game. To me that is a fundamental flaw. Nintendo is a company that says it works on controls for a game first and everything else comes second. If the controls fail then the game often fails.

It doesn't seem fair to be punished with a poor score when the controls are fighting against you. I still have to replay the PS2 version to see if it was changed on the PS3, and I'd also like to see if the 360 or PC versions will play differently.

If it was due to porting the code over then I understand and I will accept it for what it is.

But if the change in controls were intentional to make NiGHTS fly in a straighter line for newcomers then I think that was a poor decision. I'll probably never know the answer to that though.

Again, I'm sorry if I'm posting negatively, but I've put so much into this game as well as others that it's difficult to accept at first.

#3
RedTail

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I think the new model only moves in eight directions, which makes smooth, precise flight almost impossible. An option for adjusting stick sensitivity might have helped cope with this somewhat, but alas, there isn't one. What a messy port...

#4
Duplex

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I just got back from playing the XBLA version and I agree that the controls are just not as responsive as the original's controls. It's not that it's unresponsive or unplayable, it's just that it isn't as responsive. NiGHTS can still fly in other directions than just the cardinal eight, there's just a delay when you tilt the analogue stick in those non-cardinal directions. I still haven't played the PSN version which might play better for me since I've been playing the original NiGHTS on an emulator with a PS3 controller. I'll be sure to compare the controls for the PSN version with the emulated version to see if there's much of a difference.

#5
Zero-Shift

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Complaining about the controls in this to me is moot for two reasons:

1. You'll only notice a difference if you ever played the original. Many have not.

2. They do feel less precise but they're hardly broken. It's not like we're limited to going in the eight cardinal directions. They're perfectly functional.

NiGHTS is mostly considered a classic thanks some very good word of mouth but based on what I've seen here and in other gaming communities, it wasn't played by very many at the time of launch. Not as many as you'd think anyway. If you're such a hardcore fan you lambast the game based on slightly less precise controls you already own the original. For everyone else this is a chance to finally play the classic they never did for a very affordable price and that's to say nothing about the extra content and added bells and whistles.

#6
Duplex

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Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful we got this port. And honestly, NiGHTS can go in more than just the eight cardinal directions. He can also go in the other eight ordinal directions such as ENE or ESE, so that's sixteen directions as opposed to just eight. That's not bad at all. Still, perhaps patches or future iterations of this port could make the controls even more fluid and responsive. In the meantime, I'm definitely supporting this port.

#7
Malan

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I can understand the frustration, because I am a maniac too! But I knew that the game would be a port, so I accept it... but! I'm waiting for the PC version. On PC, you can edit almost everything, so there is still hope!

#8
petebrolly

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I've been a long time lurker on this forum but I drop in every now and then for a read, and when you guys need signatures for campaigns I do my part.

First of all, a bit of an intro - I played NiGHTS into Dreams on the Sega Saturn when I was 14. I remember seeing the first screenshots in magazines and just being blown away. When ads for the game came on TV (does anyone remember those?) I would rush into the room just to get a glimpse of the game in action (those born with the internet will never experience that rush of excitement I guess).

I sold my Megadrive with 26 games and put down 150 pounds on top, for a Sega Saturn with NiGHTS and boy I did not regret it one bit. I know you guys know this already (hence this awesome NiGHTS fan community) but there is something so magical about this game and I could never really put my finger on it - is it the beautiful character design, the goosebump inducing music, or is it simply the dreamy environments and utterly unique gameplay? (I'ts all these and more of course).

Anyway, long story short - I bought the game on PSN this week, and despite having to get used to the controls a bit, the game retains all that same magic as in 1996. The goosebumps returned. OK confession time - when I got the game I never had the 3D controller (although it was promised to me). Gasp. Somehow I managed with the Saturn dpad so you can see that I don't have many qualms with how it controls with the PS3 controller. It was never really about the controls for me anyway, it was all about the world itself and how it made me feel. Now that I'm getting higher number of Links than 14 year old me could ever dream of (pun intended), I feel satisfied. Believe me, it's not often you best your 14 year old self at games.

I had braced myself a little bit for disappointment in this remake after not really getting into Journey of Dreams, and also because I am very familiar with going back to older games from my youth and having the rose tinted glasses firmly smashed when I see the graphics (particularly 3D Saturn games), but wow, with NiGHTS HD, its like I'm seeing it for the first time all over again - maybe it's even better since now I can actually see what's going on that much more clearly (having an awesome 50 inch TV doesn't hurt in that respect either).

I'm not so well up on the details of your campaign but from what I've gathered you guys here at Nightsintodreams.com had a lot of input on the title and I can say it definitely shows and I am extremely grateful that you were involved in the project and helped to keep my dreams of a NiGHTS remake alive. So thank you, seriously.

I think NiGHTS, along with Sonic (huge SEGA fan) are chief among the reasons I wanted to get into the games industry, and although I've "made it" (meeting Yuji Naka by accident at last year's E3 was a defining moment) I'm not working on something like NiGHTS now, quite the opposite - an MMOFPS by the name of PlanetSide 2, which is spectacular in a very different way. Anyway, I'm very grateful to this game for putting a bit of magic into the life of 14 year old me and helping me get to where I am today.

Bit of a gushy post here I know but I felt compelled to come in here and say thanks.

Maybe I will stop lurking and will hang around here a bit more - the future certainly seems bright for NiGHTS now after all. :)

#9
DiGi Valentine

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Again, I'm sorry if I'm posting negatively, but I've put so much into this game as well as others that it's difficult to accept at first.

Charlie, believe it or not i do understand where you're coming from in all of this. Imagine it from my point of view though, every issue the fans raise here were reported by us ..it's infuriating to see the ones that should be fixed not get fixed due to time. At the end of the day though we're testers and not developers so it's out of our hands.
And though i shouldn't say, the issues you raised in your PS2 report was raised by me and Lynne (as well as others). If more time was given (and the budget to fund that time) then i feel there could have been the port you so desired. But your case is a minority, the type of NiGHTS gamer you are is a small number in the grand scheme of an entire release. Out of you and maybe 20 others i honestly can not think of anybody else who mastered the original Saturn game like you did, and i respect you for it. A lot. A game like NiGHTS deserved to have it's legendary players. But from the business side of it, fine tuning a ported game like NiGHTS would take longer than what they feel is needed and if only 20 or so people are going to notice and appreciate it then chances are the company would not take the risk (time is always against you when developing a game). The builds we received by the end of the development were playable and enjoyable, though not as perfect to the original as it could have been. So while i understand your frustrations (all too well, trust me) i have to side with the game that is on sale right now and say "this is NiGHTS as best as it can be right now."

NiGHTS might never have a moment of glory like this again, and from every single battle i've had to face in keeping this character active i have come to learn to take your wins when you can. On the overall scale of this whole situation, i count more wins than losses. Perhaps in time you may do the same, i hope you do. If anybody should beat my times on Soft Museum i would at least want it to be one of the masters from the Saturn era :)

I can understand the frustration, because I am a maniac too! But I knew that the game would be a port, so I accept it... but! I'm waiting for the PC version. On PC, you can edit almost everything, so there is still hope!

Actually, Malan does raise something here that i personally agree with (as a fan). The PC version when it releases will be yours to tinker with, you've seen how PC games get modded all the time by their fanbases ...so ...ya know, there's that *cough*


Anyway, I'm very grateful to this game for putting a bit of magic into the life of 14 year old me and helping me get to where I am today.

See, this is just one of the many reasons i wanted to help bring this game back. Reasons like this. So i'm happy to hear you're enjoying being re-acquainted with this title :)

#10
charlie

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Yeah I agree with you DiGi...I'm one of the few hardcore nuts from the original game so for 99% of the people this port is a masterpiece in every way. It does offer a lot more than the original and the price can't be beat. I'm sure I'll adjust and you'll see me on the leaderboards :)

#11
RedTail

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Don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful we got this port. And honestly, NiGHTS can go in more than just the eight cardinal directions. He can also go in the other eight ordinal directions such as ENE or ESE, so that's sixteen directions as opposed to just eight. That's not bad at all. Still, perhaps patches or future iterations of this port could make the controls even more fluid and responsive. In the meantime, I'm definitely supporting this port.


I think it locks you into one of the 16 directions once you pick up speed, with the idea being to assist the player in moving in a straight line. An option to enable/disable this would be nice. Better yet, Sega could enable full range of motion by default and allow the player to enable this flight lock feature at will during the course of gameplay with a simple button press. Say you're speeding along and all of a sudden you come to a portion of the mare where there's a straight line of items. You begin to drill dash (360 A button) and then you roll your thumb over a bit and depress the lock path button (360 B button). Once you get the items, you let up on B and you have full range of motion again.

#12
droidsaturn

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Id compare my feelings of this to what George Lucas did with the re-releases of The original Star Wars, its supposedly a HD upgrade but in the end its not what you grew up with constantly reminded throughout with nothing in sight for the true original to be seen agian. Making an obscure format laserdisc the best copy and the obscure format Saturn in the case for nights.

Reminds me why they say Emulation is preservation

#13
Draikin

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First of all, I hope everyone here doesn't let the controls ruin the game for them. The NiGHTS fans have always remained optimistic despite the setbacks (Journey of Dreams), so to drown the rerelease in negative would be such a waste. A lot depends on this game being a success. If it doesn't sell, it's really going to hurt our chances of seeing any other Saturn remakes. The fact that you're playing NiGHTS on XBox360/PSN after all this time is something of a miracle in itself. Keep in mind that this doesn't have to be the last time we see a conversion of the original NiGHTS. But if it fails, it probably will be.

DiGi, I'm not sure if you can talk about this, but the PC version isn't out yet. Now Sega claims it's under development, but the way it usually goes with conversion like this, I have a feeling it might be mostly finished already. If that's actually the case, it's probably better for you not to mention that :) If it's still actually under development, then isn't there a chance for them to tweak the controls? Or even patch the XBox360/PSN version. The problem isn't the controller, running NiGHTS in SSF with an XBox360 controller replicates the original Saturn controls very well. I already made a video comparing the two version and demonstrating the problem in more detail (using SSF with the XBox360 controller, and the actual XBox360 versions). I'm not exactly sure I want to upload it yet though, I'd suggest creating a thread specifically to discuss the control issues so it doesn't end up drowning out all the other feedback.

#14
Duplex

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I'm more curious about the method that was used to port this game. Is it an ISO of the PS2 version running on an emulator, or was the whole thing made from scratch using the PS2 version's assets? I ask because I never played the PS2 version.

#15
Draikin

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I'm more curious about the method that was used to port this game. Is it an ISO of the PS2 version running on an emulator, or was the whole thing made from scratch using the PS2 version's assets? I ask because I never played the PS2 version.

I'm pretty sure it's a port of the PS2 version, I'm guessing they took the code and converted it to XBLA/PSN. I've been doing some testing between all the different versions, and running on PCSX2 the Sega Ages version looks near identical to the HD versions. The control issues don't seem to be present on the PS2 version though, they're much closer to the Saturn version. So I have to wonder if these control problems are really that difficult to fix. It's almost as if the developers thought the original game used digital controls only, and simply converted the analog input from the controller to digital input. But the PS2 version also had analog controls, so I can't imagine them making that mistake... The problem is easy to note when you just try to run circles with NiGHTS: in the HD versions you're going to make more of a hexagonal or even rounded square sort of shape. It's most likely similar to what you'd get when using a D-pad on the original Saturn. The Saturn version has you making actual circles, and the PS2 version seems very close to the Saturn in terms of analog controls. I'm looking into creating a video comparing all the versions to show what I just described.

#16
Draikin

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Forgive the double post, but I think we need to get something done here and start contacting Sega's support. If I've learned anything, it's that the NiGHTS fans have remained optimistic and constructive every step of the way of achieving their goals. If you can convince Sega to rerelease a game, then getting them to patch that same game should be far from impossible. For example, Sega patched the PC version of Binary Domain even though it was already obvious the game wasn't going to sell. People banded together on Steam and contacted support, all the while giving them constructive feedback on the issues. Not too long afterwards, a large number of control problems were fixed. Most other larger companies I know (like Ubisoft) would never have done that, but Sega did.

If the Binary Domain fans can achieve that, then why shouldn't it be possible to do the same for NiGHTS? First of all, the PC version isn't even out yet (which might end up being a good thing). If we start sending them feedback now, we may have a shot at getting them to fix at least the PC version. Better yet, that can lead to a patch for the XBLA/PSN version as well (most likely the PC version will be optimized for the XBox360 pad anyway, like Jet Set Radio HD).

So I feel like instead of being negative or just accepting this as something we'll have to live with, we should at least try and contact Sega first. Here's a video I made that tries to illustrate the problem with the controls that we could send to them:



The issue is not with the controller, as the video proves. Also, the fact that the PS2 version emulated in HD looks remarkably similar to the HD version suggests that technically the HD version is probably based on the same code. For that reason, I don't think it should be impossible for them to replicate the controls of the PS2 version either.

DiGi, TRiPPY, I'm not sure what you think about trying to contact Sega? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Perhaps they didn't see this as enough of an issue to fix when you reported the problems, but I don't see why that can't change. I think there's definitely strength in numbers here.

#17
RedTail

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Looks like GAFers are angry too:

http://www.neogaf.co...ad.php?t=493269

Complaints seem to begin around Page 6 or so and keep getting more and more numerous as the thread goes on.

#18
droidsaturn

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Whoa thats a lot of NiGHTS chat,

What is this demo people speak of?
http://www.neogaf.co...5&postcount=561
http://www.neogaf.co...9&postcount=569

I have a Japanese and USA playstation account and theres no demo there. I even went through the trouble of making a European account to check there as well, nothing either... But there was a pretty cool euro only WRC demo so not a total waste.

After seen that video im on the fence about this. The best analog stick was made for this and now it argueably digital,Seems Sega just lost the ability to polish since the dreamcast.

#19
Duplex

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There's only a demo for the 360 version. Demos have become a foreign concept to Sony lately.

#20
Bogard

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I never played the original Saturn version, so I really don't have a say on this one, but I'll try anyway.

I can see the point of both sides on this one. Yes, the controls do feel slightly awkward, like they should be better than they are. That, coupled with my inexperience with the game made a steep learning curve, at least for me.

However, I like many others an grateful to Sega and all who helped get NiD ported at all, so I could have the chance to play this amazing game without paying exorbitant prices for a Saturn copy and/or worse, for Christmas Nights as well.

I managed to play through and beat it, struggling for a C rank at some points, but I still enjoy playing it, and it's easily the best $10 I've spent on Live Arcade this year. I just hope more people check out Nights, so that the series has some sort of future.

#21
Nemoide

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I'm waiting for payday before I play it, but I'm still looking forward to it. I think it's great that NiGHTS has gotten a wide, modern release and if the controls are a little off, well at least everyone online has a level playing-field. Besides, I still own the Saturn version and am willing to fire it up any time I'm in the mood for "classic" NiGHTS.

Looks like GAFers are angry too:

http://www.neogaf.co...ad.php?t=493269

Complaints seem to begin around Page 6 or so and keep getting more and more numerous as the thread goes on.


But let's be honest, it doesn't take much to rile up the denizens of that forum.

#22
DMC_Dreamer

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But let's be honest, it doesn't take much to rile up the denizens of that forum.


Bleh, we aren't all dramatic you know..=p That said, I still find some issues with the controls, but after spending hours playing, grabbing all the trophies for the PSTriple version, one does get "used" to it. I still hate that I can't choose my Marens...grr!

I would love it if it were patched, no complaints from me at all should that happen! But, as I have dealt with niche games in which there haven't been almost any post-release patches, I have gotten used to avoiding glitches, or dealing with the nuances of the game I would like fixed. If it is fixed, and they do have at least one free fix available on the console releases, never forget that, I'll be even happier! But if not, I shall deal, just the same as always.

Besides, my Saturn, and my PS2 system/emulator work good, so no worries should I need to get my fix of the original.

Yeah, there not being a demo for the PlayStation store is dumb. Even us PSNPlus members haven't gotten any demos lately. Frustrating, I know.

#23
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In the scenario that there is a patch, what else could the patch do besides fix the controls? Add the Sonic mode from Christmas NiGHTS? Fix that abrupt break in the music that happens before Wizeman appears?

#24
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In the scenario that there is a patch, what else could the patch do besides fix the controls? Add the Sonic mode from Christmas NiGHTS? Fix that abrupt break in the music that happens before Wizeman appears?


Being a port of the PS2 version, it still has all the issues the PS2 version had. Charlie documents 'em all pretty well here. Probably the biggest issues (aside from the controls of course) center around NiGHTS' decreased speed, the decreased boost you get from bumpers, and the reduced size of the paraloop on the Z Axis. All of these things make some of the larger links you were able to get in the Saturn version impossible.

I also think there's an issue with Puffy, but I'm not willing dig out my Saturn to confirm it. I remember being able to latch onto her and instantly (or near instantly) shoot her to the right if I wanted. Everytime you latch onto her in the port, you start beneath her and she rotates counter-clockwise. Makes getting a multiplier above 1.8 a lot harder than it should be. I don't think I've been able to 2.0 her once in this version.

Hit detection with Gulpo seems off too. I swear I'm passing right thru his stomach or the side of his head sometimes...

#25
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Draikin's right. If SEGA can patch Binary Domain, why not this? I'm deeply grateful that SEGA even committed to this HD port, but surely NiGHTS deserves more. I mean, the Jet Set Radio HD port is amazing. I think NiGHTS deserves that quality as well and this isn't something the fans should just sit and accept.

After all, some of the problems aren't subjective; they objectively affect the gameplay negatively. For example the time thresholds for boss multipliers seem to be the same as they were in the Saturn version, but NiGHTS' decreased speed and the spotty hit detection of the bosses make it impossible to meet the required times for a 2.0. No matter how big the paraloop, I can never seem to take out more than Gillwing's head.

If anything, DiGi, can you at least answer this question:

Is SEGA aware of the issues?

I sincerely hope that, at the very least, these problems can be ironed out of the Steam version... man, now I'm actually GLAD I have to wait longer to get it on Steam.

#26
NiiGHTS

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I'm one of the few who bought the original Saturn version with the 3D pad when it was released and played it during my teenage years through the 90's. It remained my most played game probably to this day. So as you could imagine, I was over the moon (no pun intended) when I heard it was being ported to Xbox 360 etc. However, after playing it now it's become apparent that there are some big flaws with the port. As you all have mentioned, the controls aren't right and the same level of control and movement found on the Saturn version is completely absent with this port. I have tried and tried to play it the same way as I did on the Saturn, but you simply cannot. It's extremely difficult to perform chain links...while not impossible, it's nowhere near as easy or straightforward as it was on the Saturn.

The Analog stick seems slow to react and yes, it does feel like an 8 way direction when NiGHTS is moving. It is just not the same as using the 3D Saturn pad which almost felt like your thumb was a cursor over NiGHTS moving him around...

I'm trying my best to get the most out of this port and it's frustrating a lot of the time. The key element which made the game so playable, i.e smooth control and movement, is missing. And it's a shame...

It's not unplayable...but it's not exactly enjoyable as it was back in the day.

That said...I will still continue to play and hopefully find a way to get around this control issue...I'm slowly getting used to it...I just won't expect the same scores I still have saved on my Saturn from back in the 90's... (yes, I still have my save game :) )

#27
Draikin

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Being a port of the PS2 version, it still has all the issues the PS2 version had. Charlie documents 'em all pretty well here. Probably the biggest issues (aside from the controls of course) center around NiGHTS' decreased speed, the decreased boost you get from bumpers, and the reduced size of the paraloop on the Z Axis. All of these things make some of the larger links you were able to get in the Saturn version impossible.

That's interesting, but according to Alex Atkin on the Sega forums, like timings are improved compared to the PS2 version:

http://forums.sega.c...sion-vs-the-PS2

So I'm not sure if all those points in the document are still valid? In any case, I think we should have a separate thread to discuss the problems rather than this one. Do the moderators here mind if I start a new one?

#28
RedTail

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That's interesting, but according to Alex Atkin on the Sega forums, like timings are improved compared to the PS2 version:

http://forums.sega.c...sion-vs-the-PS2

So I'm not sure if all those points in the document are still valid? In any case, I think we should have a separate thread to discuss the problems rather than this one. Do the moderators here mind if I start a new one?


I still haven't been able to pull off some links that I'm able to do on the Saturn. That may just be the controls though. Guess I'll experiment a little more with it.




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